A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

France senate debates same-sex marriage and adoption bill

France's Senate [official website, in French] on Thursday commenced debate of a bill [text, in French] that would legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The bill came before the upper house of parliament after approval [JURIST report] in February by France's lower house of parliament. The bill is controversial, despite the fact that both houses of parliament are under the control [AP report] of Socialist President Francois Hollande [official website, in French; BBC profile] and his party. Those opposed to the bill protested outside of the upper house of parliament in Paris. While a narrow majority of French citizens support same-sex marriage, fewer favor allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. The French Senate is expected to debate the bill until April 13. If the bill is approved, France will be among about a dozen European countries that allow same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been controversial globally in recent years. On Tuesday, Uruguay's Senate voted 23-8 [JURIST report] in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill creates one law covering marriage for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Last Wednesday, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor [JURIST report], the second of two cases the court heard this week on same-sex marriage. In Wednesday's argument, the court considered the validity of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive], a federal law that recognizes only opposite-sex marriages for federal benefits purposes, despite state law on the issue.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.